Friday, January 28, 2011

Maybe it was the weather.
It's still January, but today was beautiful.
It was as if Spring was prematurely awakened from her hibernation and leapt from her cave, greeting us with a sunny smile and a warm embrace.
So maybe it was the weather that helped me really see my kids today.
I love my little ones every day. But, sometimes my mommy goggles get smudged by peanut butter hand prints and finger paints. This morning, though, I think someone swiped them before I awoke and scrubbed off all the mess so I could see more clearly.
And this is what I saw...
Ethan is growing into a man. I am charmed by the hint of a swagger in his step. I love watching him "fix" his hair with just a cool toss of his head. He is imaginative and fun. He makes up games for the neighborhood kids, and breaks out the dance moves just because he feels the urge to dance. He describes the way things make him feel with colors. His favorite songs are made of "brilliant blues like a tropical ocean" and "red like an angry fire". I can see that he is feeling the pull to be his own man, while at the same time making sure I know how much he loves me with tight hugs, a hand squeeze, and wink, and a heart felt "I love you momma".

Julia is beautiful, inside and out. Her adorable dimpled baby face has slowly transformed into the face of a "big girl" with gorgeous skin, expressive eyes, and contagious smile. Julia is a helper. She does nearly everything without arguing or complaining. She hopes to be a mother some day. Her instincts to nurture are strong and she loves to hold Juni, read to her, bounce her on her lap, and comfort her when she cries. She is an amazing little girl who can do just about anything...from gymnastics, to basketball, to schoolwork, to jewelry making. Julia and Astrid are becoming wonderful friends and Julia is an incredible big sister. I am so blessed to have been chosen to be her mother.

Behind Asa's sparkling blue eyes is a heart of gold. Asa feels everything deeply. He loves with focus and ferocity. He is a man who believes in a blending of justice and kindness. He is a gentleman and loves to serve people. I'm so proud of him. When the other, bigger boys began cruising the neighborhood streets on their ripstiks, Asa joined in with an unwavering determination. He spent hours starting at the top of the driveway, hopping on the ripstik, and riding until he fell. Over and over again he got up and fell down, got up and fell down, got up and fell down. Now he can wiggle and roll with the best of them. The glow of confidence shining on his face makes me smile. Asa's future is bright. He wants to serve God and I have no doubt that his life will be used in a way that changes people.....or the world.

Astrid. Sweet Astrid. She is a bundle of emotions, expressions, and words! I adore her. Astrid believes that life is a performance and spends a lot of time each day singing songs and creating her own sassy dance moves. She is the epitome of a drama queen and can somehow manage to get her siblings to do anything for her. Sometimes I wonder if I let her get away with too much. And sometimes the other kids tell me I definitely do! But there's just something about those big hazel eyes, tiny nose with a smattering of freckles, and pouty rosebud lips that gets me every time. Everything is exciting to Astrid and she just can't stop herself from telling us all about it. She is so full of life and joy!

Ezra is 32 pounds of stubborn fun! He faces life head on and sees every situation as an adventure. He jumps into the pool backward....with a twist in the air! He rides his little car down the driveway with reckless abandon, pushing his bare feet against the cement to propel himself faster. He is loud, strong, silly, and independent. But sometimes he gives me a glimpse at his softer side....a sleepy hug in the morning, an "I want my mommy" in the middle of the night, or a quiet "hold me" when his feelings are hurt. Ezra is an unstoppable force that I couldn't fully harness even if I tried!

My precious baby Juniper is sweetness and softness personified. I'm loving getting to know her as she grows. She changes every day. And every day I find more and more to love about her.

Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful day. And for all my beautiful blessings.

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